The Jazz's road struggles were made especially apparent Friday night, as the team has now lost their last three on the road.
Deron Williams, arguably the best in the game at the point guard position, was never able to establish a rhythm for the Jazz on offense. He had six assists to go along with five turnovers. His five points were a season-low, as were his 23 minutes of play.
Two quick fouls in the first quarter didn't help his case either, limiting his playing time significantly in the first half.
In William's words: "two quick fouls—two quick calls, I should say—took me out of my game and I really couldn't recover."
The Celtics, on the other hand, continued their dominance at home, scoring 110 points on 55 percent shooting and 42.9 percent from behind the arc. The team's 37 field goals came on 31 assists, seven better than their average per game, which leads the entire NBA.
Rondo led the way on offense, making Utah's defense work from the opening tip. His 12 assists were a game-high, adding five rebounds and three steals in his 31 minutes of play.
Pierce and Garnett also contributed on offense, with Garnett getting 21 points, three steals and a block. Pierce scored 20 while shooting an impressive three of three from long distance.
Despite losing Shaquille O'Neal to injury after six minutes of play, the Celtics front court came to play. Semih Erden and Glen "Big Baby" Davis came to play, putting in a combined 29 points while shooting 10 of 14 from the field.
Erden came up big for the first time this season in his 30 minutes of play, finally answering Rivers' call.
He was able to chip in on the defensive end as well, getting three steals and a blocked shot to add to the mix.
All season long, it has been about Big Baby having to step up and play significant minutes, given the injuries suffered by the two O'Neals and Garnett. Friday was a different story.
With Shaq out for tonight's contest at Washington, expect Erden to get heavy minutes yet again after last night's performance.
The Turkish forward could become more important in the C's success in the second half of the season, especially if Shaq and the front court continue getting banged up. All year injuries have been lingering, and so step up play by Erden and Big Baby is exactly what Doc could hope for.
Tonight, the Cs take on rookie sensation John Wall and the Wizards, who currently are 12-29, but are winners of four of their last five in Washington.
Earlier this season, the Cs beat the Wizards at home 114-83.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!